2018-05-31 / Nature

Larger Bass, Fluke Filling Warmer Waters

By James Merolla

According to Greg Vespe of the Aquidneck Island Striper Team, striped bass fishing has really picked up this week with larger bass to 20 pounds mixing in with the schoolie-sized bass, which are under 28 inches, that have spread throughout the bay and beaches.

Various plugs and poppers, and live-lining pogies are working well to land striped bass. The problem is, Vespe said, that finding live pogies in tackle and bait stores, or trying to catch the large baitfish with treble hooks off boats is becoming difficult because they have been initially hard to find in area waters.

Vespe said the tautog bite in the bay has been excellent and should hold up until the spring season c loses this week. Tautog season is closed from June 1 through July 31 while the species spawns. The fall season for these blackfish reopens on Aug. 1 with a limit of three fish per person per day. Crabs remain the best bait.

Vespe said that fluke, or summer flounder season is just getting started, but a few keepers, which is 14 inches this year as set by DEM, are being caught out front along the beaches.

“This should improve significantly as the water continues to warm. We are also getting a few bluefish arriving in the area but no major push yet,” said Vespe. “The squid bite has been poor to fair with some anglers believing that the schoolie-size stripers and large schools of sea robins have prevented the squid from getting comfortable in the bay this spring.”

Vespe’s fellow officer with the AI Striper Team, Ted Zlydaszek, reported great schoolie striped bass fishing off Common Fence Point in Portsmouth this week using a bone-colored Jumpin’ Minnow lure. He suggested wearing waders out in the water, then casting into the currents.

Longtime Newport angler John Migliori reports the best striped bass action from boats is between Jamestown and Purdence Island. “Bluefish are also beginning to show up,” he said.

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